The other day, I was discussing this campaign with a friend. My friend said “ It’s not that I have transphobia or that I am against transgender people in anyway. It is just that I do not understand what it means to be ‘transgender’”. I thought this was a very important point and it is probably one of the more common ways that prejudice feelings and bullying towards the transgender community starts, a lack of understanding and ignorance.
Well, In order to educate and help understand what it means to be ‘transgender’, I interviewed a transgender Uni student, who was kind enough to allow me to ask some pretty personal questions and he answered them in great depth, in order to help educate those who have unanswered questions.
I will be publishing the interview in 3 parts. All Questions are in bold. T.E.A is 19 and is Transmasculine ( he, him, his, they, them, theirs).
What does the term ” transgender” mean to you?
To be “transgender” to me means to be of a gender that is different to the one you were assigned at birth.
When did it occur to you that you were trans?
From a very early age I knew I wanted to be more masculine. I remember wishing I was born in a typical boy’s body and to be treated like one of the boys.
However, I did not know I was transgender until I was in yr 9, where I came across a FTM trans narrative on Degrassi that completely resonated with me. Up until then, I knew that something was odd, that I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what to do until I came across the portrayal of a trans individual.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of transitioning?
From what I know, the process of transitioning can be categorised into 3 types; social transition, legal transition, and medical transition.
Note: no transition is the same. People have different levels of gender dysphoria and may take different means to be comfortable with themselves. For example, not everyone can or feel the need to start hormones, or opt for surgery. Some may take longer to transition, others faster. It is wholly dependant on the individual and their needs.
1. Social transitioning: For most, this means coming out and telling those around you, or select few that you are trans. This may mean changing your name, your pronouns, how you present yourself through your clothing, your mannerisms. Transitioning in a way that effects your social life.
2. Legal transition: This may mean changing your name legally and/or changing your gender marker on your passport, credit cards and other forms of identification.
3. Medical transition: For some this may mean getting onto hormone replacement therapy. This can also include getting surgery to reconstruct certain physical features. Psych approval is needed in order to get onto hormones and surgeries.
Are you out to your family and friends, do you openly discuss being trans?
I am out to the people who knew me before I started testosterone and to other trans people and queer people. I do not usually openly discuss being unless there is discussion regarding gender identity and if someone asks for information regarding transitioning.
Part 2 and 3 will be posted up soon, so make sure to keep checking in!
Let us know what you think and I really do hope that you help us share this story in order to prevent bullying and transphobia. You can comment, Share or like!